GUIDING PRINCIPLES

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is an increasingly diverse community of scholars that strives to instill a love for, and an appreciation of, mathematics and statistics in students at all levels.

 

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is an increasingly diverse community of scholars that strives to instill a love for, and an appreciation of, mathematics and statistics in students at all levels.  To foster academic excellence, we provide a supportive and inclusive environment in which students of all backgrounds can learn and succeed.  We provide high-quality, innovative instruction while advancing knowledge within our disciplines through scholarly research and professional engagement.  Our goal is to equip Villanova students with those quantitative skills that will serve as a foundation for future study, as well as give them a competitive edge in the marketplace.  We encourage all of our students, especially those from historically underrepresented groups, to consider careers related to mathematics and statistics.  We aspire, in a spirit of community, to promote a dedication to service in our faculty and to help our students to become creative, analytic problem solvers who will contribute to the betterment of society as a whole.

  1. Students will demonstrate familiarity with the principal definitions and theorems of primary areas of mathematics.  (i) Students will demonstrate an appreciation of the role of precise definitions and formal mathematical structures in mathematical argument. (ii) Students will understand the basic nature of proof in mathematics, by a) being able to recognize a valid mathematical proof and b) being able to construct valid mathematical proofs and arguments.
  2. Students will develop quantitative problem-solving skills and cultivate facility with and appreciation for mathematical and statistical thinking and expression. (i) Students will demonstrate understanding of and facility with mathematical computations, algorithms, and problem-solving strategies. (ii) Students will develop and demonstrate the ability to communicate mathematical material, both a) in written form and b) orally.
  3. Students will be able to utilize the power of mathematical vocabulary, abstract tools, and computational techniques in the formulation and analysis of appropriate problems across subdisciplinary boundaries within mathematics, in other portions of the curriculum, and in real-world situations. (i) Students will be able to complete a) basic problems as well as b) longer, connected problems requiring synthesis. (ii) Students will be able to solve “word problems” by applying mathematical thought to various contexts and recognizing connections between mathematics/statistics and the outside world.  (iii) Students will be able to apply technology appropriately to quantitative problems. (iv) Students will develop an appreciation for mathematical utility, beauty, and elegance.

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics values, embraces, and celebrates diversity in our student, faculty and staff populations.  We strive to create a community built upon mutual respect, equity, and inclusion.  We recognize and value the perspectives of individuals from diverse races, genders, abilities, orientations, identities, socioeconomic groups, faiths, cultures, and other backgrounds.  These perspectives bring a wealth of ideas and experiences to bear on our classes, our disciplines, and the functioning of our Department. Thus, we are committed to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our Department and our curriculum.  We are also committed to listening, to learning, and to implementing new strategies within our Department to encourage and assist all community members in their ability to explore, grow, and flourish.   We seek to remove cultural and systemic barriers and other obstacles to full representation of, and participation by, people from underrepresented groups, especially people of color and women, particularly in the highest ranks of our faculty. We recognize that our actions at the Departmental level have an impact on the climate of the University and society at large, and we use this knowledge to motivate and guide our efforts.

Our Department is committed to anti-racist action and has been active in this work since the 1990s.  Members of our Department have supported Black Lives Matter student activism on campus from the beginning, and we formed our Department Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee in response.  We have:
 

  • updated our Department Mission to incorporate diversity and the betterment of society;
  • significantly increased the representation of BIPOC on our faculty from 8% to 24% (from Fall 2017 to Fall 2020), although we still aspire to hire more Black and Latinx faculty, and want our diversity to continue to improve in the upper ranks;
  •  held a DEI training related to Hiring for Villanova’s Future for all members of our Department in 2020;
  • adopted a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement and committed to listening, modifying our practices and curriculum, and working to remove cultural and systemic barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • set a goal to get input and suggestions from our undergraduate and graduate students about DEI issues within the Department;
  • been working with the Diversity Skit team and the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) since last year to create a workshop for our Department to become aware of the kinds of things we might do unconsciously as faculty that make students, staff, and other community members feel uncomfortable, not welcome, and not affirmed, and thus to make changes in our practices and curriculum.

Statement of Support for the @BLACKVILLANOVA Community from the

Villanova Department of Mathematics and Statistics

July 8, 2020

The Villanova Department of Mathematics and Statistics would like to express its support for the members of the Villanova community who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and their allies who have initiated and posted on the @BLACKVILLANOVA Instagram page.  Thank you for your courage and honesty in sharing your painful stories to help us understand how deeply the culture of racism and white supremacy and white privilege is entrenched in our institution.  We apologize for not having taken the time to solicit them ourselves and for not doing enough up to this point to make sure that all BIPOC (and other marginalized) members of the Villanova community feel truly welcomed, honored, and celebrated throughout campus and beyond.

We want you to know that we hear you, loud and clear.  We hear in these stories the deep and visceral pain you feel, and now better understand how much the reality for many BIPOC students, staff, and faculty differs from the ideals of community and diversity that Villanova espouses.

Our Department is committed to anti-racist action and has been active in this work since the 1990s. We recognize that this work is just a start, and that there is a long road to proper representation, inclusion, and celebration of Black (and more generally BIPOC) people in our Department, and in the wider Villanova community.  We are committed to making this happen.  We welcome any comments, suggestions, and feedback about what we can improve or do to be as supportive as possible to you.

@BLACKVILLANOVA is a powerful source of the kind of input we need at the campus-wide level.  We deeply appreciate the gift that this sharing represents.  We plan to continue to work with CASA and other Villanova Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs to make our Department even more welcoming, inclusive, and affirming, and with VITAL and others to change our teaching practices and curriculum to continuously improve in these areas.

EXTERNAL RESOURCES

Edge for Women
A program women pursuing a PhD in mathematicssummer session, EDGE supports a summer session, an annual conference, travel for research collaborations, travel to present research and other open-ended mentoring activities.

Women and Mathematics (WAM)
The Women and Mathematics Program at the Institute for Advanced Study is an annual program with the mission to recruit and retain more women in mathematics.  

Association for Women in Mathematics
The AWM supports women and girls in Mathematics.

American Mathematical Society Diversity site
Currently, the AMS is working with a consultant to guide and extend our work to promote a mathematics community that is diverse, respectful, accessible, and inclusive.

International Association of Black Actuaries
The International Association of Black Actuaries is a professional and student member organization whose mission is to contribute to an increase in the number of black actuaries and to influence the successful career development, civic growth and achievement of black actuaries.

The Leadership Alliance
The Leadership Alliance aims to develop underrepresented students into outstanding leaders and role models in academia, business and the public sector.  

The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers
Promotes the theory and applications of statistical disciplines without regard to race, creed, color, sex or nationality

International Chinese Statistical Association
Promotes the theory and applications of statistical disciplines without regard to race, creed, color, sex or nationality

International Indian Statistical Association
Promotes education, research and application of statistics and probability throughout the world with a special emphasis on the Indian subcontinent

Korean International Statistical Society
Cooperates with Korean and other international organizations in the advancement of statistics

Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference

Highlighst the achievements and career interests of women in statistics and data science.

Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics

Students will have the opportunity to meet other women who share their interest in the mathematical sciences, and those who already have done research will be given an opportunity to present their results

Women in Analytics Conference

Provides a platform for women to lead the conversations around the advancements of analytical research, development, and applications

The Math Alliance

Faculty and graduate student mentors in the statistical sciences

Annual Conference for Undergraduate Women

Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics

AMS statement on diversity in mathematics

Biostatisticss Epidemiology Summer Training Diversity Program

Sampling Advanced Mathematics for Minority Students

Resources For Women In Data Science and Machine Learning

Supports and promotes women and gender minorities who are practicing, studying or are interested in the fields of machine learning and data science

Department of Mathematics & Statistics
SAC Room 305
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085 
Tel: 610.519.4850
Fax: 610.519.6928
Email: math@villanova.edu

Chair:
Dr. Jesse Frey

Staff:
Christine Gadonas 610.519.4809
Maria W. Barrett  610.519.4850